Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Plan to Fail
One of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous quotes is, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’  I love this quote because I have found it to be so true in life.  How many times do we tell our friends, relatives, and neighbors-‘we totally need to get together soon’…and then it RARELY happens.  For me I have found that what takes something from good intentions, to actually doing, is putting it on the calendar.  When it goes from ‘let’s do this’ to ‘let’s do this, what day and time works for you?’ then we are getting somewhere.  So let’s shift gears to family Bible times and family worship.

When is family worship and Bible reading likely to happen in our households?  If your house is anything like mine then there is a whirlwind of activities going on seemingly all the time.  There is homework to complete, dinner to be made and eaten, playtime and clean up, and bedtime to prepare for.  It is very easy for the time to drift away and to look up at the clock thinking, uh oh, better get these kids to bed quick!  If we don’t plan our Bible times and put them on the calendar, if we leave it out of our daily routines, then we might be left behind at the good intentions stage.  Just like we want to see our friends more and don’t, we could intend to share the Bible with our kids more and not.

Most Christian parents deeply desire to share Jesus regularly with their kiddos.  We want to guide them into a deep and rich faith in Jesus. We just sometimes don’t have a plan.  Here is the good news- it doesn’t have a to be a perfect plan!  Just talk it over as a family and come up with a plan that could succeed.  When you come up with it, pray over it, and then don’t forget to get it on the calendar!  Getting it on the calendar and making it a part of your routine is key.

Remember, be realistic. If this is newer for your family, my advice is to start small.  If you shoot for the stars right away and try to daily sing 3 worship songs, read a whole book in the Bible, and have a 15-minute devo you could find yourself frustrated as one kid is daydreaming, another is freaked out by the new routine, one is actually listening, and the other is jumping on the couch.

You might find more success reading a short passage of Scripture together 5 nights a week (with a brief explanation of the text), singing a single worship song together once a week (and in the car), and praying with your kids before meals and at bedtime.  If you find this as a reasonable starting point then get it on the calendar right away.  Don’t forget to put estimated times for each activity!  You can be flexible with times but getting as many details on the calendar as possible is helpful in setting routines.

Creating new rhythms is hard work.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on a bumpy ride for a while.  Humans are creatures of habit and creating new habits takes time and prayer.  So, whatever the early results are, don’t give up!  Each family will experience their ups and downs on this journey.  None of us is expected to be perfect, but we are expected to be faithful.  So keep up the good fight for your kids and for the Lord!

Remember what Benjamin Franklin said, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail’. Just as hangouts with friends are more likely to happen if calendared, your family worship time is more likely to happen if calendared as part of your routine.  Most of us would say that guiding our kids to Jesus is our most important goal for them.  If this is true, we should plan our calendars accordingly, not letting anything stand in our way!  Keep in mind that we must be very  intentional and prayerful as we will face both spiritual warfare and a culture filled with busyness.

You can do this!  Note- If you are looking for a good template to schedule your family worship times I have a great one available from Pastor Spencer Plumlee’s book, Rythyms. Email me and I will get you a copy.  If there is any other way I could help let me know.  We are in this together!

Pastor Dave Zablocki

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